COLUMBIA — Pictures on the Missouri volleyball team's Facebook page show the team's student cheering section, VolleyZou, reading newspapers during team introductions at last month's Tiger Invitational at Hearnes Center. The move, meant to mock the Tigers' opponents in the upcoming match, is a good example of the group's antics.
“We’re just trying new things out to get the crowd engaged,"said Jared Ward, the marketing coordinator for VolleyZou and a senior at MU. “We want to think of creative things to do during every game.”
Ward and other VolleyZou student coordinators are seeking new ways to entertain the crowd and to recruit new members as the Tigers head into their first Southeastern game against Tennessee on Sept. 12.
VolleyZou coordinator and MU sophomore Brooke Skiles said new things the group is trying include free rides in the VolleyZou golf cart for students seeking a lift across campus. VolleyZou also has an information table set up in the MU Student Center and plans for a free barbecue for students before the team’s first SEC game.
"We want to do more pregames and watch parties," she said. "Hopefully with us getting into the SEC, we can provide more events."
Cole Foss, director of VolleyZou and sophomore at MU, said that ESPNU will broadcast at the SEC opener.
“People should definitely come out because we’re going to have something special before the game and in the student section,” Foss said. “It’s going to be a blast.”
VolleyZou has been the official cheering section for Missouri volleyball for more than four years. According to Stephanie Rizzolo, the marketing coordinator for the Missouri volleyball team, VolleyZou is a student spirit group similar to Tiger’s Lair for football and Zou Crew for basketball. Although similar in mission, VolleyZou usually draws a smaller membership because of volleyball’s popularity compared to football and basketball.
“We might not be as large or have as much membership as Tiger’s Lair or Zou Crew, but I definitely think we have as much enthusiasm,” she said.
Unlike other cheering sections at MU, membership is free and includes a T-shirt, body painting before games and opportunities to meet players on the volleyball team.
Students can sign up for VolleyZou during games, in the MU Student Center or by emailing Rizzolo at email@example.com.
Supervising editor is Grant Hodder.